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CTRL ALT DELETE, How I Grew Up Online By Emma Gannon

As I am a big fan of Emma Gannon's blog, podcast, newsletter and general existence, I was, of course, excited to get my hands on her book. I've got to say, now that I've finished it, I do actually think it was even better than I expected - I was not at all disappointed with the content or the writing.


Through the book, Emma reflects on growing up with the internet, and the effect being online had on her life. Being just a few years younger than Emma, I felt I could relate completely - those attempts of flirting over MSN and irrational crushes on someone you'd never speak to face to face is definitely something I experienced. Reading this book (the first half especially) I found myself looking back, massively cringing, and laughing my head off, as I remembered just how unaware I was as a teen with the freedom of the internet (after waiting for the dial-up connection and keeping anybody from using the house phone), I also felt very thankful, I was not the only one that went through these teen experiences I desperately pushed to the back of my mind. I find it comical to think what life was like when I first began using the internet on a huge, extremely slow machine in the 'computer room' of our house.

This book made me laugh out loud and made me think deeply about, uhh, pretty much everything. From crushes and friendships to the TMI of giving head for the first time (which is so honest and bloody hilarious to read about), death, troll and those who don't understand the internet generation,  CTRL ALT DEL covers it all. Despite the vast number of topics covered throughout the 260 pages, everything is still very relevant and fits in very well. Considering there is an entire chapter on a lady Emma met in the loo, there are no words to fill paper or for the sake of typing, every single word is worth reading and each sentence matters in the 'story' being told.

Reading the book, I felt like Emma was a close friend, and we were between laughing fits and deep conversations which often happen in intimate relationships, but something I think it rare to find through printed words.

Emma is such a refreshingly honest, and naturally, a witty writer, alongside this her, points are so well informed and a great reflection on what she stands for, what she's experienced and who she is.  I felt as though I was reading Emma's train of thought, as her personality shine through the entire book (in the same way it does her blog and newsletter). I often find the  in books can feel quite robotic as the writer looks back on memories, which you hadn't experienced, but this book,  is quite the opposite, I was laughing along remembering my own experiences and curious to hear more Emma's past, and the things which made her the woman she is today. There were many memories which I'd pretty much blocked them out due to pure embarrassment of my teenage existence - but at 24, they are now something I can laugh about. It's a very brave book for Emma to publish and that's what I love about it. It is so real.

Those experience you push to the back of your mind because you think you're the only one who has the most cringy teen experiences come back to life, as the writer subtly reminds you being a teen in the world of internet isn't supposed to be a life of #goals especially when you specialise in trying (and usually failing) to chat up your crush over MSN. Oh, the memories. And in complete contrast, the book also discusses going from awful unpaid internships to becoming a successful freelance business woman (which is actually #goals)

This was the best book I read in a lot of time - I felt more connected to the writer than ever before and I think it's because Emma kept the book so raw - a brave move which definitely paid off.
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